Alex is/was 4 Months Old!

(Just pretend it’s April 13 still, ok?)

My little baby.  4 months.  4 months!  It’s amazing what 4 months can do.  I recently saw a picture of me holding him as a newborn.  He fit so easily in my arms then, and now he’s all spilling over with his arms and legs and always-turning head.  So much of him has changed.  I’ll try to sum it up for you.

Sleeping:

In the past month, I’ve definitely began to see some patterns in Alex’s sleep.  We started off the month with him going to bed super early- like 7PM!  I was thrilled thrilled thrilled when this first started happening because, for the first time since he was born, I actually had a couple of hours of “adult time” in the evening.  I set up the monitor and had to keep running up to shush/soothe/nurse him back to sleep several times, but I did actually get a sewing project or two done, which was really exciting.  Unfortunately, this didn’t last.  A week or two after it began, the next developmental leap hit and all bets were off!  Anyway, about the same time as the early sleep phase began, Alex also changed the way he does naps.  Well, I changed the way we do naps because he changed the way he is.  Basically he began to be SO interested in what’s around him that he needs a dark quiet room to go to sleep in.  I went from bouncing/walking him to sleep in the mei tai to nursing him to sleep on our bed for every nap.  It’s kind of nice because it’s easy for me to nap too if I want.  If I stay with him and (especially) if I sleep too, he will nap for a long time in the morning- 2 or 3 hours!  It’s fantastic, and I end up super disappointed on the days it doesn’t happen because that’s how I get enough sleep overall (seeing as how I burn the midnight oil writing blog posts…).

I have so much I could say about sleep, and it’s constantly changing on top of that (on our Texas vacation this last week, for example, my husband found that he could rock Alex to sleep in his arms as long as we had something over his head to block the light).  In summary, Alex takes 3-4 naps a day and they vary in length from 30 or 45 minutes (if he’s not in a dark, quiet room or if someone doesn’t stay with him/be hyper-vigilant about soothing him into the next sleep cycle) to 3 hours (if I’m napping beside him).  He began the month going to bed for the night around 7PM, but that all changed with his leap and it’s now more like 10 or 11PM (yikes!).  He LOVES to sleep in and will easily stay asleep until 10am as long as I’m still sleeping as well.  His night sleep is anywhere from 10-14 hours depending on when he goes to bed.  He still sleeps in our bed since that seems to net the most sleep for everyone.

I still adore his peaceful sleeping face, and I love love love the smile he gives me when he wakes up and sees me!  🙂

Nursing:

Somewhere in the past month, nursing has become soooo easy!  And quick too!  Alex now spends as little as 5 minutes nursing, though at night or when he’s going to sleep he’ll sometimes take 20 minutes or so.  I don’t know exactly when it happened (maybe around 3 months), but somehow Alex just “got it” with regards to nursing and it never ever hurts anymore!  That leads me to believe that he actually wasn’t doing it “right” before, and I hesitate to say that because the poor little guy was really doing his best, and he was definitely getting plenty of milk out.  Maybe his mouth just got bigger?  I don’t know, but I now can clearly see that he is opening his mouth very wide, using his tongue the way he should… it’s fantastic.  The biggest problem we have now is that he’s often too distracted to nurse when he’s not ravenously hungry, especially if we’re someplace new. In fact, it’s kinda frustrating to try nursing in public at this point because he’s so interested in looking at stuff that he’ll either not settle down and latch at all, or he’ll keep latching off every few sucks to look around.  And that’s not cool because I can’t exactly leave my boob lying there waiting in a public place while he takes a gander at the world!  He basically needs to be so hungry he’s crying before he’ll really settle in and nurse in public.  I assume this too will pass.

Oh, and I should mention car nursing.  I have mastered the art of nursing Alex in his car seat, mainly out of necessity since while on our road trip that past week he was too interested in looking out the car windows while we were stopped and my boobs were too stubborn to produce more than a few drops when pumped.  Hence, what I like to call “dangle nursing”.  If it sounds uncomfortable, it’s because it is.  I’m just glad my windows are tinted.  SO glad to be home!

I quit keeping track of everything Alex does about a month ago, and it’s really been nice to not worry about it anymore. I finally became confident that I was indeed catching Alex’s hungry cues and feeding him often enough. I have no idea how often he nurses each day, though. Probably 8-11 times? That’s what it was when I quit tracking. He “wakes” at night to nurse 1-4 times or so, but he doesn’t really wake up unless we do a diaper change, and I barely wake up either. It’s fantastic. That, plus the fact that I nap several times a day, means that I’m getting PLENTY of sleep- more than I did while I was working!

Developing:
Alex can roll from his back to his tummy! He loves to practice, but gets frustrated when his arm gets caught underneath him. Still, he has started rolling over to sleep on his tummy at night sometimes and often wakes himself up trying to practice his tummy skills! Silly guy.

=====================================================================================

Aaaaaaaaand, I meant to write more back when I started writing this, but I never got around to it.  And now it’s time for the 5 month update.  I think I need to just cut my losses and move on.  So, I’ll leave off with some pictures.  🙂

A lot of these pictures are from our road trip to Texas to visit Grandma and Grandpa.  It was Alex’s first roadtrip.  He LOVED seeing all the new places and was totally cool with meeting new people, but he hated Hated HATED riding in the car!  It was a total nightmare, and we won’t be doing it again anytime soon.  It was the worst road trip of my life, and even with me sitting in the back seat with him the ENTIRE time, he screamed bloody murder most of the way.  The problems are that #1 he gets bored to tears and hates being strapped into that car seat for hours a day.  Toys and Mommy’s attempts at entertainment only amused him for so long.  #2 He really can’t sleep well in the car.  He would finally, in utter exhaustion, fall asleep, but couldn’t stay asleep long at all and would often wake up screaming.  Terrible terrible.  We made it through somehow, but we will be flying for our next few trips until he’s a little older and (hopefully) able to tolerate the car better.

Ready for church on his 4-month birthday- lookin' good, little guy!

Ready for church on his 4-month birthday- lookin’ good, little guy!

meeting his great great uncle in Missouri

meeting his great great uncle in Missouri

meeting his great aunt and uncle in Missouri

meeting his great aunt and uncle in Missouri

exploring Grandpa's flower garden with Daddy

exploring Grandpa’s flower garden with Daddy

with his Auntie

with his Auntie

hugs from Grandma :)

hugs from Grandma 🙂

he loves his activity center!

he loves his activity center!

in the mei tai

in the mei tai

Waking up at his cousins' house on the morning of his 4-month birthday

Waking up at his cousins’ house on the morning of his 4-month birthday

in Mommy's old bedroom

in Mommy’s old bedroom

Attending his great grandma's funeral.... He was just one day too late to meet her.  :(

Attending his great grandma’s funeral…. He was just one day too late to meet her. 😦

petting a dog for the first time!

petting a dog for the first time!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kendra
    May 14, 2013 @ 11:09:37

    The activity center picture – adorable!

    And we took a road trip with isla when she was that she age and she was the same way. Basically screamed for 8 hours and wouldn’t sleep. But then we took her to France when she was 4 months old and she slept the whole time on the plane. It’s those carseats!

    He’s getting so big and I’m glad nursing is easier now! 4 months was my turning point too.

    Reply

    • travelnole
      May 14, 2013 @ 16:06:23

      Yeah, it’s the carseat for sure. If I could have held him the whole way I know it would have been just fine! Looking forward to trying a plane ride instead!

      Reply

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